US Register of Copyrights: No Performing Right on Net Music Downloads “Common Sense and Sound Policy”

By • March 25, 2007

In testimony today in Washington before the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, US Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters described in detail the current areas of dispute regarding performance and mechanical royalties on music transmissions, especially on the Internet. But going beyond a review of the current legal landscape, she made the case that there was an urgent need to reform the system, and made no secret of her position that Internet downloads of music should not involve a performance royalty for writers and publishers.

“One of the major frustrations facing online music services today, and what I believe to be the most important policy issue that Congress must address, is the lack of clarity regarding which licenses are required for the transmission of music,” she stated.

While indicating that the law is “ambiguous” on the issue of whether internet music downloads should include a performing right, she made no secret of her position on the issue, stating,”Common sense and sound policy counsel that the transmission of a reproduction of a musical work without any rendering of the recording at the time of delivery should implicate only the reproduction and distribution rights.”

To read the complete testimony today of Marybeth Peters before the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property of the House Committee of the Judiciary, visit:

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